Athenkosi Nomavila grew up in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape where he attended the Zingisa Comprehensive High School. As a high school student, Athenkosi’s outgoing personality and communication skills led him into the school’s debating society, which prompted thoughts of a career in law.
“I was good at debating and, I guess, have the gift of the gab.”
But this wasn’t to be as he failed to score a university entrance mark in matric. But fate had other plans for Athenkosi. Not willing to accept that he wasn’t good enough to go to law school, he rewrote matric.
That’s when his life changed. “I repeated my final year to improve my maths, business and accounting marks. That’s when it hit me – I suddenly realised that maths is FUN! My marks improved considerably and along with that, my confidence. I was good to go.”
But law? Maybe not. “My older brother worked in computer science and he told me about WeThinkCode_. I’d never heard of it, but then I started considering a career in technology for the first time.”
Athenkosi took the plunge and attempted the online application test. “I have to say that I enjoyed it very much. My mind was suddenly opened to this new world of tech.”
Bootcamp was the next phase in the journey. “Just like the online test, I found bootcamp to be enjoyable. It was seriously stressful but I figured it out.”
Athenkosi is now a student at WTC. “I have to say that I am loving the course. It is like a breath of fresh air. I am learning so much, in particular how to meet deadlines, something I didn’t know before.”
Asked what he would like to do, he says, “Not sure right now, but one thing that grabs my attention is the inability of blind people to code. I would love to invent a programme to make that possible.”
Sport and hobbies have always been important to Athenkosi. “I have played cricket since grade two and still love it. Back in school I took part in athletics, particularly the shot put. Off the field I am an avid Formula1 fan and I love gaming.”
Athenkosi breaks the mould of the typical computer nerd. “Honestly, I like to be different and stand out.” He points to his black beanie cap with the image of the head of a panda on the front. “I wasn’t happy with a plain black beanie, so I sewed on the panda head to make it a bit different.”
With superior tech skills plus a dash of creativity thrown in, the world is an exciting place for young Athenkosi Nomavila.